My interview with Christine Van Zandt

It’s time for another fantastic #ChatWithThePBLady

Today, Im talking to Christine Van Zandt author of A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS.

Jenny: Favorite type of music?

Christine: Eighties through today.

Jenny: What was your favorite childhood toy?

Christine: A stuffed dachshund.

Jenny: Must-have hamburger topping?

Christine: Ketchup.

Jenny: Last book you read?

Christine: Stacey Lee’s historical fiction YA, Outrun the Moon. It’s so good!

Jenny: Okay, let’s talk about A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS. This is such a fun and unique idea for a story. What inspired you to write this book?

Christine: My then third-grader came up with the idea of a funny nonfiction book about underwear after we worked at her elementary school’s week-long annual book fair and listened to kids complaining that nonfiction books were boring.

Jenny: What was your research process like for this book?

Christine: Crazy! Libraries and bookstores were closed because it was early in the pandemic, so I bought dozens of reference books, looking for scraps of undie info from every continent, back to the first fossilized pairs.

Jenny: This book combines both facts and humor. Is there a fact you found particularly interesting?

Christine: That a sumo wrestler’s mawashi (loincloth-style underwear worn as outerwear) are as heavy as a watermelon and, when unrolled, as long as a school bus!

Jenny: Can we expect more humorous nonfiction books from you in the future?

Christine: Yes! I’m working on a funny and fascinating picture book about animal poo. Did you know that bats flip right-side up before pooping or that wombat poop is cube-shaped?!

Jenny: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about a BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERPANTS?

Christine: Kids love the book’s art which was done by Harry Briggs.

Bio: Christine Van Zandt hasn’t found fossilized underwear, but loves digging up ideas that make great books for kids.
She’s a literary editor and lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family and a monarch butterfly sanctuary. Visit her online at

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